Dallas County shows support of soldiers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2004

The reality of the war on terror hit home Monday morning in Selma as hundreds lined the streets to watch the 122nd Corps Support Group of the National Guard ride through town and begin their journey to Iraq.

The soldiers are leaving Selma and heading to Fort Benning, Ga. where they will train until they are deployed overseas later this year.

The National Guard Armory hosted a send off for the soldiers and their families earlier in the morning, before they began their police escorted ride down Broad St.

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Selmians lined the streets, waving flags anxiously awaiting the bus carrying to pass with the departing troops.

Third grade students from Payne Elementary School waited on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to wave goodbye to the troops.

Eight year old Colita Thomas, whose father was recently overseas with the Army, said she was sad about the troops leaving because she knows some of them will be in danger.

“I pray they make it through,” said Colita shyly, as she clung to her little flag.

Employees from Selma Career Link and the Employment office were also on hand to give the soldiers a send off. “I’m really sad to see that they have to go, but I am glad that they are willing to serve,” said Susan Cosby, coordinator of Career Link.

According to Cosby, their office already has an employee in Iraq. “Ron Brown was called in November of last year, we keep in contact with him and send him packages,” says Cosby.

“He is in our prayers and we are anxious for him to come back home.”

Margie Burk from Margie’s Dance Center was on the street handing out flags to the school children. “I had a bunch of flags in my store room and I figured this was

a good way to put them to use. As an army brat, I strongly support the troops.”

Some people like David Thomas and Vacaria King, were out to encourage the soldiers and represent for those who couldn’t be there. King’s mother is a disabled veteran who served with the National Guard and did a tour in Saudi Arabia.

“She couldn’t be here, but we thought it was good idea to come.”

Many of the onlookers shared the same sentiment of support and sadness for the troops and their families, feeling bad that they had to leave, but appreciating their service.

Thomas, who wanted to be out there to show support, was clear about his feelings, “I’ll just be glad when it’s all over.”